The Congress on Thursday slammed the Modi government for “misusing” probe agencies against opposition leaders and staged protests against the Enforcement Directorate’s summons to Sonia Gandhi.
Senior Congress leader Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot condemned the ED action of calling Sonia Gandhi for questioning and said the probe agency should first hold a press conference to spell out under what charges she is being probed. “I condemn the ED action of calling Sonia Gandhi for questioning,” he told reporters at a press conference. “The ED should have gone to her residence to take her responses to their questions,” he said, citing past precedents, adding that this is being done to harass her.
Sonia Gandhi is set to appear before the ED here for her questioning in the National Herald money laundering case. Referring to the questioning of Rahul Gandhi earlier, Gehlot said never has anyone questioned a leader for five days in a row and long hours of questioning. “Their aim is to demoralize and create problems,” he alleged.
Gehlot said this action comes after the Udaipur declaration of the Congress party, which received a very encouraging response from the public. Earlier, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh claimed the media was also being prevented from entering the Congress headquarters.
“From the early hours of this morning the Delhi Police—obviously taking orders from the Union Home Minister—is preventing the media from entering the Congress party headquarters. This high-handedness was only to be expected and reflects the mindset of the Modi Sarkar,” Ramesh said on Twitter. He also said that the ED action comes to prevent Congress from raising issues for the public like price rise and unemployment, which they will continue.
The Congress has organized protests in the national capital and across the country. Gehlot alleged that there are two laws in India one for the BJP and one for the opposition. He also alleged that the area around the Congress headquarters here has been turned into a police cantonment and no one is being allowed entry.
“They consider the opposition as their enemies and the target is to make the country opposition-free. Earlier their slogan was to make it ‘Congress-mukt’,” he said, alleging that the country is headed towards such times that all Indians should be worried. Gehlot also claimed that the ED is being used by the ruling BJP as a “big weapon to bring down governments of opposition”.
“There can’t be anything more cheap and shameful than this,” he said. He said the ED has made 1,700 raids and their conviction rate is 0.5 percent as due processes and not followed. The Rajasthan chief minister said he wanted to meet the heads of the IT, CBI, ED, and CBDT chairman as the credibility of these probe agencies in the eyes of the public is going down.